Cowboy Bebop – Season 1 Episode 6 “Binary Two-Step” Recap & Review

Binary Two-Step

Episode 6 of Cowboy Bebop Season 1 starts with the Bebop grounded. The wiring is a mess and Mel, the local mechanic, has the perfect solution to Jet’s problems. Jet is not happy though, believing he’s being conned. He eventually succumbs though and turns to Spike for help in coughing up funds for the replacement parts.

So naturally, that comes from targeting a new bounty. This man is called Cy-Baba, a guru who has killed 3000 people. He’s going under a new alias now, one called Doctor Londes, and he’s worth a tasty 90 million woo.

With Spike off looking for the pipedream of tracking down this illusive bounty, Faye is left to look after the mechanic. She’s too busy marveling over her new railgun, although everyone onboard – including Mel – believes it’s a total scam. The thing is, Mel only has eyes for one person – Faye.

Spike shows up to see Dr. Londes at his office but instead gets talking to an AI who convinces him to get involved in an orientation. Spike lasts a solid 35 seconds or so before he loses patience and skips out the back.

Only, he winds up running into Julia who happens to just be standing in the middle of the street. She warns Spike about what’s to come and encourages him to run as Vicious and his goons are coming. As we soon find out, all of this is one big trip and Spike is actually still hooked up to the machine. Dr Londes is actually a massive computer AI.

In the middle of this big mind trip, Jet shows up at Londes’ office. There, he finds Spike hooked up to the machine and tries to free him. Cy-Baba was a pipedream after all; a cover-story to hide the psychotic AI responsible for killing so many people.

Doctor Kaypack is there to help though and he does his best to try and save Spike. The hunter is stuck in a VR loop, with the system determined to try and capture his consciousness.

Jet rushes back to the Bebop, handing over the coil to get the ship running again. Only, it’s the wrong model. After imploring Faye and Mel to get back to working, given they’re cuddled up together on the floor, they work to try and save Spike before it’s too late.

With time of the essence, Jet and co fly to the mainframe just as Spike starts to lose control and contemplates throwing in the towel. Thankfully it falls to Faye and her railgun to save the day. A railgun which most certainly isn’t a scam.

Back aboard the Bebop, a groggy Spike awakens and talks to Jet. With the AI defeated, the hunters learn that the LONDES machine actually stands for Life Observing Neural Development Emulation System. Kaypack believes that the AI restarted itself and took on this Londes identity to lure people in.

With the mystery solved, the AI gone and the Bebop fixed, Spike heads back to his room and mulls over his vision, promising to never let Julia go.

The Episode Review

A nice time-hop episode ensues this time around, taking cues from Groundhog Day to deliver a trippy VR simulation for Spike to get wrapped up in.

As far as I’m aware (and do quote me if I’m wrong) this chapter is one of the more original eps here and I don’t think there was one like this in the original anime. Again, my recollection of the anime is a bit hazy!

The focus here is largely on Spike though, who becomes the main drive for this episode, reinforcing his ties with Julia and just how much he wants to save her. It’s an interesting conflict and one that builds his character nicely for the remaining set of chapters to come.

The visuals in particular are the real stand0ut element and seeing the picture start to grow ever-more fuzzy and distorted as the chapter wears on is a nice way to show the extent of Spike’s VR dive.

Either way, Cowboy Bebop delivers another good chapter here.

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You can check out our full season review for Cowboy Bebop here!


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